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Saudi Arabia rallies Arab support for Egypt's new anti-Islamist leader

Published on Jun 7, 2014 5:43 PM

DUBAI (REUTERS) - As new Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi prepares for his inauguration on Sunday, his most powerful Arab ally is deploying both threats and promises to ensure the Arab Spring cannot upset a new anti-Islamist front in the Middle East.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urged Egyptians this week to embrace Mr Sisi, the military man who drove Islamists from power in Cairo a year ago, and said they should to disown the "strange chaos" of the Arab uprisings.

It was Riyadh's starkest message of support yet for Mr Sisi, who won an election last month thanks to support from Egyptians hoping that a strong, military-backed government will bring an end to three years of political instability in the most populous Arab country.

Mr Sisi's win was undoubtedly a boost for Saudi Arabia, which had watched with horror as the Arab revolts toppled authoritarian leaders and brought President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt.

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